Sunday, June 10, 2007

A retail market for "ICE"


The other day I was getting my vehicle repaired in a road-side shop. It was mid-afternoon and the heat was unbearable, at 45-46 C. The mechanic was taking a long time for the minor repair and I had nothing to do but to wait. The area in which the repair shop was located would have one of the least prosperous areas of the city; one could call it a slum. In the area I observed one thing that was selling briskly was "ICE". There were some four-five make-shift shops which were selling ice to customers who would buy the ice and carry it home in small polyethylene packets. The customers in the mid-afternoon were women who after their normal grocery purchase were on their way back home. Each of the shop had at least 8-9 blocks of ice in stock which they would probably have to sell off by the end of the day and for five rupees they were selling a 6"X6" piece of ice which was pretty costly. This market of ice I though was a very good example of the market for low-income consumers. As has been said by people like CK Prahalad in BOP marketing and others, the low income consumers also need products and services which we would normally associate with an urban up-market consumer, here we are talking about the product "cold water" or "cold lemon drink”. Though the purchasing capacity is low, but if one provides these consumers with smaller quantities they are willing to buy and even at higher prices.

There are many examples of the purchasing capacity and preferences of low-income consumers........

2 comments:

amit said...


The other day I was getting my vehicle repaired in a road-side shop. It was mid-afternoon and the heat was unbearable, at 45-46 C. The mechanic was taking a long time for the minor repair and I had nothing to do but to wait. The area in which the repair shop was located would have one of the least prosperous areas of the city; one could call it a slum. In the area I observed one thing that was selling briskly was "ICE". There were some four-five make-shift shops which were selling ice to customers who would buy the ice and carry it home in small polyethylene packets. The customers in the mid-afternoon were women who after their normal grocery purchase were on their way back home. Each of the shop had at least 8-9 blocks of ice in stock which they would probably have to sell off by the end of the day and for five rupees they were selling a 6"X6" piece of ice which was pretty costly. This market of ice I though was a very good example of the market for low-income consumers. As has been said by people like CK Prahalad in BOP marketing and others, the low income consumers also need products and services which we would normally associate with an urban up-market consumer, here we are talking about the product "cold water" or "cold lemon drink”. Though the purchasing capacity is low, but if one provides these consumers with smaller quantities they are willing to buy and even at higher prices.

There are many examples of the purchasing capacity and preferences of low-income consumers........

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aks said...


The other day I was getting my vehicle repaired in a road-side shop. It was mid-afternoon and the heat was unbearable, at 45-46 C. The mechanic was taking a long time for the minor repair and I had nothing to do but to wait. The area in which the repair shop was located would have one of the least prosperous areas of the city; one could call it a slum. In the area I observed one thing that was selling briskly was "ICE". There were some four-five make-shift shops which were selling ice to customers who would buy the ice and carry it home in small polyethylene packets. The customers in the mid-afternoon were women who after their normal grocery purchase were on their way back home. Each of the shop had at least 8-9 blocks of ice in stock which they would probably have to sell off by the end of the day and for five rupees they were selling a 6"X6" piece of ice which was pretty costly. This market of ice I though was a very good example of the market for low-income consumers. As has been said by people like CK Prahalad in BOP marketing and others, the low income consumers also need products and services which we would normally associate with an urban up-market consumer, here we are talking about the product "cold water" or "cold lemon drink”. Though the purchasing capacity is low, but if one provides these consumers with smaller quantities they are willing to buy and even at higher prices.

There are many examples of the purchasing capacity and preferences of low-income consumers........

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